Preserving the dignity of animals

Meeting the natural needs of an animal – from breeding to slaughter.


Demeter prescribes best animal husbandry practices for farm-based production enterprises. Specialized farms that are smaller than 40 hectares are exempt from this. Ruminants, due to their manure, ensure that the material cycle is closed – they also enrich life on a farm with their different dispositions.

How does an animal end its life? This question is one of the great concerns of producers. At the end of its life, an animal should be subjected to as little stress, fear, and pain as possible. Demeter Switzerland – in collaboration with the Swiss Animal Welfare Association, among others, has been campaigning for this with small and large slaughterhouses for years, so that the quality of the handling of living animals is constantly being improved. As a result, what is achieved here, can subsequently apply to all animals brought to the slaughterhouse.

Mischa Hofer’s mobile farm slaughter project, which is unique in Switzerland, allows animals to be slaughtered on any farm, and at a professional and high-quality level. The aim is to give all Demeter animals a peaceful death in the familiar surroundings of the herd, directly on the respective farm. The animal is restrained while it is feeding in a special compartment of the feeding area in a self-catch fence – it is usually already used to this from its daily feeding. The animal is stunned here with a standard bolt gun, and then immediately pulled into the mobile slaughter unit by means of a semi-automatic pull-in, where it is bled – this process must take place within 60 seconds. The dead animal is then transported in a special trailer to the nearby slaughterhouse for the rest of the slaughter process. In principle, the process is the same as for conventional slaughter, except that the first part happens on the farm. This spares the animal separation from its herd, stressful transportation, and the stress of the often long waiting times in the slaughterhouse, alongside other distressed animals.


Source Demeter/Hoftötung
More information Hofschlachtung

Translation Eliza Rozeboom
Images Mischa Hofer/Hofschlachtungen GmbH

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